Olivia, 22, from Whitchurch, Shropshire, is currently studying an FdSc in Dairy Herd Management at Reaseheath College and was recently crowned runner up in the prestigious Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) 2020 ‘Dairy Student of the Year’ competition.
I have had a fairly rural upbringing, although not directly on a farm. There are farming connections on both sides of my family.
I always knew I would follow a career path which involved animals and from the age of 12 I worked at Beeston cattle auction, where my mum worked in accounts, which opened my eyes
to larger animals.
I went on to Reaseheath College after GCSEs to study a level 3 extended diploma in agriculture, specialising in dairy, where I discovered a passion for animal health and nutrition.
At 17, I completed my middle year placement, rearing calves for a 1,200 cow dairy herd in Cheshire, which I went on to work on for a further five years.
Not being from a farming background has given me great desire and passion to prove my worth and knowledge. As a result, I am currently studying an FdSc in Dairy Herd Management at Reaseheath College through Chester University and I will graduate in June this year.
In October 2019 I entered the Dairy Student of the Year 2020 competition with the RABDF.
I feel so proud and honoured to have been selected as runner-up at Dairy Tech 2020 in February.
I thoroughly enjoyed writing the initial case study assignment, set by Kite Consulting. It felt like a real life scenario, which allowed my ideas and writing to flow with ease.
Going down to London to perform a presentation on the topic ‘where I see the dairy industry in 10 years’ allowed me to express the passion I have for the dairy industry, which resulted in me being crowned runner-up in the competition.
I hope it will open many new doors and ventures for myself and my career going forward.
I would like to think I have inspired other young people from non-farming backgrounds to seek a career within the industry.
I have a real passion for educating children within UK cities on farming in the UK and where their food comes from. I really want to get more city children into the countryside and on real working farms, gaining valuable hands-on experience.
I would love to create my own business implementing this idea.
Farming is an amazing industry to be a part of, providing me with great experiences with employment and friendships and I want to be able to share my experiences with others, while educating along the way.